Clive Lewis vows to occupy Commons if Boris suspends Parliament

PUBLISHED: 14:27 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 28 August 2019

Clive Lewis has said suspending Parliament is 'undemocratic.' Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Clive Lewis has said suspending Parliament is 'undemocratic.' Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire


Norwich South MP Clive Lewis said police would need to remove him from the House of Commons if Parliament was suspended ahead of a no-deal Brexit.

The explosive comment comes as the government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament - known as proroguing - before the Queen's Speech on 14 October.

In a tweet Mr Lewis said: "If Boris shuts down Parliament to carry out his No-Deal Brexit, I and other MPs will defend democracy. The police will have to remove us from the chamber. We will call on people to take to the streets. We will call an extraordinary session of Parliament. #PeoplesParliament."

This afternoon, at around 3pm, the Queen consented to the prorogation which will take place from Monday, September 9 to Monday, October 14

This means plans to pass anti no-deal legislation will be unlikely before the 31 October deadline as during shutdown no laws can be passed and parliamentary debate is put on hold.

At the time, Mr Lewis said a "robust" response to the threat of prorogation was needed to lessen its likelihood - even if that meant a sit-in in Parliament.

Mr Lewis added: "There are a number of ways to contest this, some legal and some physical. A physical protest, by which I mean staying in parliament, would be symbolic. And I'm sure I, and many others, would do this."

He also said a suspension would "short-circuit" and "hack" democracy, after calling the government's plans "fundamentally wrong".

Mr Lewis said: "There are longer term implications for our democracy if Boris Johnson goes ahead with this. It will set an awful precedent and is part and parcel of potentially chipping our democracy away.

"Boris Johnson is looking for the easiest option to achieve what he wants to do. He can't win fairly and squarely so he's doing it through denying Parliament opportunity to legislate. He has no right to do that."

In a BBC interview, Boris Johnson said: "We're not going to wait until October 31st before getting on with out plans to take this country forward and this is a new government with a very exciting agenda."

Broadland Conservative MP Keith Simpson said that he didn't agree with Johnson's decision and it marked a period of "uncharted territory".

Mr Simpson said: "I'm not convinced by people versus Parliament. I can, however, understand the logic of a prorogation and why ministers have urged it because the government doesn't have a majority. The government's ultimate aim is to leave with or without a deal."

"I imagine there will be a hell of a row about it when we get back and in my view this means a general election before Christmas."

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